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Wednesday, 18 July 2012 15:02

Swift Current getting ready for municipal election this fall

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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The City of Swift Current’s preparations for the 2012 municipal election are under way, with a number of decisions taken at the regular council meeting on July 9.

This year’s election will take place Oct. 24. It will see an important change in the terms of office for elected officials in the province, with the mayor, councillors and school board members serving a new four-year term instead of the previous three years.
For this year’s election, councillors decided not to approve the use of mail-in ballots. City Clerk Lee Ann Thibodeau told the meeting most local authorities in the province will not be using mail-in ballots for 2012. Cities that have indicated their intention to use mail-in ballots are Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Melfort.
Following a recommendation from City administration, councillors also decided not to implement a requirement for a criminal record check for candidates.
“Indication from other cities is their councils are not implementing the requirement for a criminal record check,” Thibodeau said.
Councillors also followed a suggestion from City administration to not implement a requirement for disclosure of campaign contributions and expenses at this time.
“This has not been established by previous councils and has not been an issue in the past,” she said.
Councillors agreed the names of candidates on the ballots be listed in alphabetical order by surname. The remuneration rate for election workers will be similar to the 2009 election rates, but they will be paid a flat fee instead of an hourly wage to save accounting time for City officials.
Another change for this year’s election will be that nomination day will be five weeks prior to election day instead of the four weeks in previous years. This will leave more time for advertising, printing and the issuing of a second call for nominations, if required. This year’s nomination day will be on Sept. 19 and nominations can already be submitted from Aug. 17.
Council approved the establishment of four polling areas for Swift Current on election day. The polling stations will be located at the Swift Current Museum, the Credit Union iplex, Colonel Clifton Centre (formerly referred to as the Recreation Centre) and Fairview School. Polling stations will open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Oct. 24.
Advance polls will take place at the Colonel Clifton Centre on Oct. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Oct. 20 from 1 to 5 p.m. There will also be advance polls at the various seniors complexes in Swift Current Oct. 17 to Oct. 19. Voting at these complexes will be for residents.
The current council will remain in office until the newly-elected members are sworn in within a week to 10 days after the election. Councillors approved the cancellation of the council meeting of Oct. 29. The first meeting of the newly-elected mayor and councillors will be scheduled to take place after they are sworn in.

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